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Friday, March 26, 2021

Aggroach: New Monster

A new monster for the Forgotten Smugglers' Cave adventure, which starts here.

Illustration by Lore Suto


Least Large Huge Giant (Adult)
Move 150 feet/turn 120 feet/turn 90 feet/turn 60 feet/turn,
30 feet flying
Hit Dice 1 hp 1/2 1 2
Armor Class 7 6 5 4
Treasure Type nil nil nil nil
Attacks 1 1 1 1
Damage 1 hp 1d4 1d6 1d8

A large, aggressive cockroach that has recently invaded the region of Portown, likely brought in with smuggled goods from afar. The earliest encountered specimens were only one foot long (the least aggroach*), but unfortunately these were merely the earliest instar (stage) after hatching. The most numerous of the forms, these are, luckily, often eaten by those hardy predators that can stomach them, like giant rats. The survivors, however, grow and toughen with each molt, until finally transforming into the adult form, the winged giant aggroach, which is as long as a halfling is tall.

An omnivorous hunter, an aggroach will attack by rearing up on its hindlegs and then lashing out with the razor sharp spines on its forelegs. Like their smaller kin, they are somewhat social, hunting in packs with similarly-sized members (e.g., 2d6 least, 1d10 large, 1d6 huge, 1d4 adults). 

When killed, an aggroach will release a "death stench" to warn away other members of its species (make a morale check or flee). This smell is revolting to humans and their kin, and thus anyone who delivers a killing melee blow to one must make a save vs poison or attack at -2 for 1d6 turns (save at +1 for the least, and -1 for the giant). It is rumored that various wizards in the area are now paying for intact larger specimens so that they might study the stench-producing glands in order to determine if they have any practical application in magical research.

Friday, March 5, 2021

The Forgotten Smugglers Cave #8: Reef Cavern

This is an installment of The Forgotten Smugglers' Cave, which starts at Area 1.

Area 3

Area 9

8. REEF CAVERN: The tunnel south from from Area 3 (Grotto) slopes gently down to this area. Any thief passing through it will recognize faint markings in smugglers' code indicating danger in the water. The passage opens up to a rocky beach, smaller than the one in the Grotto, on the edge of a much larger water-filled cavern (roughly oval-shaped, 200' east-west, 100' north-south).

The cavern is dimly lit by weird purple and green lights shimmering beneath the surface of the clear, gently-rippling water, the source of the light being an expansive cold-water reef of glowing, strangely-shaped corals, among which dart a variety of creepy but harmless fish. From the shore, the bottom rapidly drops off to a depth of about 15 feet. To the east, a hundred feet across the water, is a darker area where it looks like there may be an exit. The water is cold and brackish, being a mix of fresh water coming from the east and sea water entering through unseen underwater passages. 

The rowboat from Area 3 will travel 10' per round with 1 or 2 people with improvised paddles, or 20' with 3 or 4 paddling. However, unless it has been re-waterproofed, such as with the pine pitch in Area 7, it will leak and sink within 5 rounds, or 10 rounds if 2 or more characters continuously bail. The empty barrels from Area 7 can be paddled at only 5' per round, but will not leak. If anyone enters the chilly water, purposefully or not, assume they can swim adequately in normal clothing (10' per round) or leather armor (5' per round), but sink in metal armor, with a 50% chance each round to remove it, or take 1d6 points of damage from drowning (these rules are adapted from those in the Sample Dungeon).

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changesScattered about the reef are a dozen of the the Sea-Changed (link goes to the full write-up for this new monster; abbreviated stats are below), ordinarily quiescent. However, any activity that disturbs the water may attract their attention; throwing rocks only has a 1 in 12 chance, but each round of boating or swimming has a 1 in 6 chance. If so, 1d4 of the Sea-Changed will rise to the surface and attempt to inflict "the sea-change" on the living (which happens on a successful hit followed by a failed save versus poison). Once a character is inflicted, no more attacks will be made on them; if all characters are so affected, the Sea-Changed will return to the bottom. The change causes the loss of one point of dexterity per day as the calcification spreads, and upon reaching zero, the victim will be transformed into one of the Sea-Changed, and then drawn back to the reef.

The Sea-Changed (12): DX 6, AC 5, HD 1+1, AT 1 claws or weapon, D: 1d6 + save vs poison or inflict calcification (lose 1 point of dexterity per day until transformed into one of the Sea-Changed), undead (turned as zombie; any that are successfully turned will return to quiescence in the reef); 1 in 10 have pearlescent eyes (roll on the gem table for value).

The Sea-Changed by Lore Suto

Crusty Bones Locker.  Barely visible in the middle of the coral reef is an ornate, padlocked chest, so covered in calcifications that it has become an immovable part of the reef. Even if unlocked, the lid will not open; the only way to get at the contents is to smash through the top. Inside is a mixture of 500 gold coins (500 g.p.) and 50 small pearls (10 g.p.), one of which is a red pearl (heals 10 HP once per day; fighters only; from the Blackmoor Supplement).

There are two exits from this area, north and east, which can be found by following the links on the above map; if there is no link, the area is not yet posted. 

Chronologically on this blog, the previous post installment was Area 7 and the next posted installment will be Area 9.